Introducing America’s most authentic tribute to the legendary BILLY JOEL…
Formed by native Long Islander Mike Santoro (piano/lead vocals) in the summer of 2009, THE STRANGER has amassed an impressive list of clientele, high profile events, festivals and concerts that would rival many national acts. With all 6 members residing in the Charlotte North Carolina area, and several decades of experience between them, The Stranger is a musical powerhouse that is recognized as one of the best and most entertaining live bands in the business.
"I have had the great pleasure of working with Mike over the last few years with both of his bands, Billy Joel Tribute 'The Stranger' and his Billy Joel/Elton John Event "Face-2-Face", and I always look forward to it. As a promoter, I respect the amount of work that Mike puts into promoting his acts and I can always rest assured he will deliver a high quality show that will keep his fans coming back for more. He's a true professional in every sense of the word, and a talent buyer's dream to work with. The fan base for both bands continues to grow with every return to The Fillmore, which is no easy task. These shows are the REAL DEAL!!!."
- Grant Lyman - Talent Buyer
- Live Nation
"The best of the best in all respects! Great show. This guy cares about his endeavor and follows up to make sure the client is satisfied."
- Jim Mallonee - Sr. Vice President
- Southeast at House of Blues Entertainment Inc.
" It’s not much of a stretch for Mike Santoro, the piano player & lead vocalist in The Stranger, to inhabit the stage persona of Billy Joel. Santoro sounds like Joel. Santoro looks like Joel. He’s even from Levittown Long Island just like the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, six-time Grammy winner, and songwriter tied with the Beatles for the most multiplatinum albums in the US. No, perhaps the toughest requirement for Santoro has been to memorize the rapid-fire lyric of "Harry Truman Doris Day Red China Johnnie Ray South Pacific Walter Winchell Joe DiMaggio" that he sings with precision during every performance of "We Didn't Start the Fire." Onstage, Santoro is joined by the five members of his crack-backing band. Whether wailing on the sax in the U-Haul jingle "Movin' Out" or plowing through the rock-steady percussion of the individualistic anthem "My Life," they please Joel fans during an interactive show that covers both radio hits and often overlooked B-sides that make a great tribute show. "
- Groupon/Living Social Promotion
“Thank you so much for an amazing evening of entertainment. Our attendees continue to rave about how wonderful your band was. For the first time in many years we had people from all age groups and backgrounds come together for a night of fun. You guys were spot on with your songs, so much so that at times we had to be reminded that the real Billy Joel was not in the room! Additionally we were able to raise over $7000 to support our community programs and services! Thank you again!”
- Anna Berwitz - Director of Development and Special Events Administrative Director Camp Savannah
“We hosted our first “Concert of Caring” fundraiser in November of 2014, and booked THE STRANGER on the recommendation of a key volunteer. We could not have been more pleased with the experience we had! The band’s performance was fantastic on every level, from the set list to the musical talent of the band members to the high-energy show they put on. Mike Santoro was a pleasure to work with during the booking process as well as on-site. We would recommend THE STRANGER to any organization looking to book a band with great multigenerational appeal that can get a crowd up on its feet!”
- Regina Estep - Director of Marketing & Development
- Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley
- Dayton/Sidney, Ohio
“Hi Mike, I caught your recent show at Amos Southend and I have to say that was absolutely one of the best live music experiences I've ever had...including a concert by the real Billy! You and your guys rocked. Don't ever stop man. Cheers, Justin Wolf Bank Of America”
- Fan Testimonial
“I wanted to let you all know I caught the show this past Saturday in Myrtle Beach at HOB, and I thought the show was tremendous. I am a native New Yorker myself, from Brooklyn, and have seen many Billy Joel shows, too numerous to mention, a fan from day one, and have seen some other tribute artists, and you are by far the best I have ever seen. You're Only Human was unreal. Thanks again for bringing back a lot of great memories, hope to see you again in August AB Myrtle Beach, SC”
- Fan Testimonial
“We are so pleased with your bands performance for our wedding. The diversity in music selections and energy was amazing ...everyone was up dancing from ages 3-76. Our guests are still talking about what a great time they had. We really appreciate you learning our music selections along with the professionalism and steps you took to make sure the lighting and sound was perfect. Thanks again! Kent and Kathy Berry”
- Mr. & Mrs. Kent Berry -
Wedding reception May, 2011.
“Having booked Tribute acts for over 20 years The Stranger is truly one of the best tribute bands I have booked at Amos Southend'. Mike the lead singer sounds exactly like Billy Joel and his band is a collection of excellent musicians. They are very professional and easy to deal with, punctual and undemanding and courteous. He plays an excellent selection of Billy Joel hits that the crowd gets excited about and stage presence is outstanding. I would recommend booking the Stranger to any club owner, promoter or agent. ”
- John Ellison - Venue Owner/Amos & Southend - Client Testimonial
“The Stranger” has been by far the most crowd pleasing band at our Rockin’ & Reelin’ summer entertainment series. The mixed crowd was in the party spirit right from the start. The band is very professional and pleasant to work with in every way. We will definitely have them back again next year. This band really loves what they do, and it shows in their stage presence. Thanks again for bringing your great talent to Pineville!” July 2010 - Kristy Detwiler, Director Pineville Parks & Recreation. Rockin’ & Reelin” Pineville’s Summer Concert & Movie Series.”
- Kristy Detweiler - Client Testimonial
“My wife and I own VENUE in downtown Johnson City, TN and we recently held a Valentine's Day event with The Stranger, a premier Billy Joel tribute band. All I can say is, "WOW!!!" They blew us away and far exceeded our expectations. A full 2 1/2 hr set of classic Joel that sounded so much like the original that our patrons were in disbelief. Every note and every beat were spot on and when you are playing music that's as recognizable as his, you just can't wing it. It's obvious that a ton of time and preparation goes into their performances and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for that WOW factor. ”
- Travis Woodall - Client Testimonial